Title: Follow Her Home
Author: Steph Cha
Release Date: April 16, 2013
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Juniper Song isn’t exactly a private detective, but her love of Philip Marlowe means that she certainly has the skills of one. When Song’s best friend, Luke, tells her he thinks his father is having an affair, she agrees to investigate. But when Song is attacked, and then finds a dead body in her trunk, she realizes that there might be more going on than a simple extramarital affair.
Follow Her Home is a noir detective novel for a new generation. Song absolutely loves everything about Philip Marlowe, from his wisecracking style to the detection techniques he featured in his books. It’s not a stretch, then, for Song herself to become a private investigator. But the actual world is uglier and dirtier than Marlowe’s clean, unmarred pages, and Song finds herself in the center of something very sinister.
The story of Follow Her Home moves at a brisk pace and is definitely unexpected. The author takes the reader on strange twists and turns; where the novel ends up is definitely not where the reader would have predicted. That being said, the story is…odd. It’s not that it’s bad, or not worth reading, but simply that it’s so much stranger and deeper than it really needed to be, which makes it difficult to believe. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what about the story didn’t sit quite right with me, but there was certainly something off about it.
Song is a great character to lead Follow Her Home. Smart, resourceful, and funny, she’ll appeal to readers quickly. The novel begins to delve into her backstory, and specifically her complicated relationship with her sister, and it hints at much more to come in future novels. This book is set up as the first in a series, and the tantalizing glimpses at Song’s complicated past will definitely leave the reader wanting more.
While I didn’t love the storyline of Follow Her Home, the homage to Marlowe and the wonderfully drawn main character in Song were a lot of fun to read. If this is indeed the first in a series, I’ll definitely be back for more.